Top tips for travelling to Italy
Italy has a lot to offer tourists throughout the year, from a summer in Lake Garda or the Amalfi coast to a skiing holiday in the Alps. Venice is just as magical in the winter as it is in the summer, and the attractions of Rome can be seen all year round.
Be prepared before you go
British citizens do not require a visa to enter Italy.
The Euro is the currency of Italy.
The time in Italy is an hour ahead of the UK.
Should you find yourself in an emergency situation, phone 112 from any phone to be put through to the emergency services.
The summer months can be very hot, so if you plan on doing a lot of walking or sightseeing you may wish to avoid July and August.
It is always advisable to take out travel insurance before you visit a foreign county so that you are prepared for all eventualities. As Italy is in the European Economic Area you will also need to obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which will give you access to reduced-cost or free state-provided healthcare. Not having one of these could invalidate your insurance cover or increase the excess you are required to pay. These are free to obtain through the NHS, however watch out for websites that will try and charge you for obtaining one on your behalf.
Most visitors from the UK will arrive in Italy by air, however it is possible to travel by car, train or boat.
If you bring your own car to Italy, you are required to bring your driving licence and vehicle registration document. Whilst it is not a requirement, it is also advisable that you bring your insurance certificate. If you plan on hiring a car, all you need to bring is your driving licence. The speed limit is in kilometres per hour, with the usual speed limit for urban roads 50kph, which is roughly 30mph.
If you travel by train or bus, you will need to remember not only to buy a ticket before you depart, but also to validate the ticket by inserting the end into a machine either on the station platform or inside the bus. Failing to validate your ticket could result in a fine.
Italy is famous for its pizza and pasta, so be sure to try this whilst you are visiting. Cafes in Italy (known locally as bars) will often double, or even triple the price of whatever you are eating when you sit down, so if it is nice outside, buy your food and drink here and find somewhere else to sit and consume it.
Be advised that you will be charged for water, bread and antipasto, even if the waiter makes it sound like a free offering by asking if you want it while you decide.
In Italy, you have to ask for the bill. Make sure it’s itemised so that you know you are being charged correctly. If you see the word ‘servizio’ appear on your bill, this is a service charge. There is no need to tip on top of this, and in if it isn’t, a small tip such as a few coins is more than most locals would leave.
If you are planning your next trip to Italy book hotels, flights, rental cars at best price guaranteed!
Bio: This post was written by Chris an outdoor enthusiast working for Simply Hike an online retailer of outdoor clothing and camping equipment. (simplyhike.co.uk)